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Erie, Pennsylvania

Saturday, February 16, 2008 - Sunday, February 17, 2008

Our third trip to watch the Ontario Hockey League this season took us to Erie, Pennsylvania to watch the Erie Otters take on the Peterborough Petes. Jill plays hockey with Jorie Ftorek whose brother Robbie (the ex-NHLer) is coach of the Otters.

Jill had a presentation in Syracuse on Saturday morning, and got home around 1:30. A quick turn around, and we were on the road to Erie by 2:00 or so. One of the loneliest stretches of road in all of North America has to be Route 17/86 from Elmira to Erie. Only a couple of 'cities' exist on this stretch of road, and otherwise it's just hills and farmland. Good thing that I had good company along the way to make the drive seem shorter!

We pulled into the parking lot across the street from the Tullio Arena around 6:15. We made good time, with a few minutes to spare before the gates opened. I wanted to make sure we were there early because the giveaway (to the first 1,000 fans) was a cowbell! Pretty good giveaway in our book. We were one of the first in the door, and got a cowbell no problem.

Tullio Arena seats around 5500 for hockey, with a majority of seating along both sides, and probably 10-12 rows behind one goal. At the remaining end, there are 'luxury boxes', but no seating for the general public. Since it's laid out as such, you can't walk all the way around the rink, just the horseshoe. The concourse seemed to get a bit jammed up too at the point where you came into the rink, mostly because it was at one end and there was only one entrance, so you had everyone trying to get into the arena plus everyone that was already in the arena and just trying to get from one side to the other all converging at the same point.

The concessions were the usual rink fare, although they had a few 'Greek' items on the menu. Always looking to try something different, we ordered up a Greek hot dog and Greek fries. Now, in our little part of the world, when you put 'Greek' in front of a menu item, you figure you'll end up with something that has Feta cheese and tzatziki sauce on it. Not so in Erie though - we ended up with a chili dog and chili/cheese fries. Chalk one up for education I guess!

The rink had an 'old' feel to it, but a lot of the time 'old' and 'historic' go hand in hand (much like our home rink in Binghamton). The fans were loud and into the game, and Erie played a very good game (much better than when we saw them in Ottawa at the end of December). We were originally sitting four rows behind the bench (needed a bit of mopping there - our feet were sticking to the floor), but after a period found some seats on the end that we preferred.

After the game, we headed to our hotel with a detour along the way to Smokey Bones! This was one of our favorite restaurants before they closed a bunch of them (like the one in Scranton that was closest to our house), so when we found it while searching for places to eat we were pretty psyched! After dinner we headed for the Homewood Suites where we would be spending the night. They were 'overbooked', so they substituted our king bed suite with a two room suite - complete with full size beds - ugh. We were in room 224, and we paid $120.99 for the room for the one night.

In the morning, we found a Panera bread for some breakfast and then hopped back onto Route 90 for the trip back home. Along the way, we decided to stop at the Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca, New York to lose some money and eat lunch at their buffet. Our wallets empty and tummies full, we drove the rest of the way back to Binghamton, arriving home around 7:00.

Palmieri Paces Otters to Win

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 - Erie Otters vs Peterborough Petes

Nick Palmieri scored twice to lead the Erie Otters to a 3-1 win over the Peterborough Petes in an Ontario Hockey League game played tonight in front of 4,055 at the Tullio Arena.

Luke Gazdic netted the other Erie goal and Shane Owen turned aside 28 shots in the win, the Otters second straight. Erie is now 13-39-2-1 on the season.

Pat Daley netted the lone Peterborough goal. The Petes lost their second straight to drop to 24-28-0-3.

The two teams were scoreless after one. Erie carried a 2-1 lead into the third.

The Otters out shot the Petes 53-29 in the game.

The three stars of the game were all from the Otters. Palmieri was the first, Zack Torquato (assist) the second and Gazdic the third.

The Otters complete the weekend tomorrow afternoon in Guelph against the Storm. The game can be heard live on FOX Sports Radio AM 1330 The FAN and on-line at www.ottershockey.com (presented by the James H. Cross Company) beginning with the pre-game show at 1:45 p.m.

The next Otters home game takes place Saturday (February 23rd) when the Ottawa 67ís visit the Tullio Arena in a 7:30 p.m. start. The first 2,500 into the game receive a free taco courtesy of Taco Bell. Tickets for the game are available at all Erie area Ticketmaster locations, at the Civic Center Box Office, on line at www.ottershockey.com or by calling 814-452-4857.

For further information contact the Erie Otters at 814-455-7779 or e-mail the Otters at mark@ottershockey.com.

Total Mileage: 556 Miles

Total Miles Travelled:
139,891 Miles!

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Page Last Updated: September 4, 2008